Fields and Verrett on Bednarik Award Watch List
July 8, 2013
SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. -- TCU defensive end Devonte Fields and cornerback Jason Verrett have been named to the watch list for the 2013 Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the nation's top defensive player.
TCU is one of just 15 schools to have more than one player on the watch list.
Fields and Verrett are two of nine returning starters on a TCU defense that topped the Big 12 in six categories and ranked 16th nationally, despite having faced five of the nation's top-13 offenses.
As a true freshman in 2012, Fields was named the Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a unanimous selection by the conference coaches as the Defensive Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Fields was a consensus Freshman All-American and the National Defensive Freshman of the Year.
A native of Arlington, Texas, Fields led the Big 12 with 18 1/2 tackles for loss while placing third with 10 sacks.
Fields' 10 sacks, which tied for fourth in a season by a Horned Frog, broke the TCU freshman record of seven set by eventual NFL All-Pro Aaron Schobel in 1997. Fields took part in a sack in nine of 13 games. His 53 tackles topped the defensive front. He added two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, interception and four pass breakups.
Verrett, the San Antonio Express-News 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, was named by CollegeFootballNews.com as the nation's top cornerback.
In voting by his teammates, Verrett was selected as TCU's Dan Rogers Most Valuable Player. He was the first defensive back to receive the award since cornerback Tony Rand in 1992. Verrett was also the first defensive player to be the Dan Rogers MVP since Jerry Hughes in 2009.
Verrett topped the Big 12 in interceptions (six) and passes defended (22). He was the only player nationally to rank in the top 10 in both categories, tying for second in passes defended and sixth in interceptions.
Verrett's six picks were the most by a Horned Frog since Jason Goss had eight in 2002. Verrett's 16 pass breakups represent the highest total at TCU since Goss had 24 in 2002.
A native of Fairfield, Calif., Verrett tied for fourth on TCU with 63 tackles, including five for loss. The 63 stops mark the most by a cornerback in Gary Patterson's 12 seasons as TCU's head coach.
Verrett also blocked a West Virginia field-goal attempt in the first overtime that paved the way for TCU to win 39-38 in double overtime.
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